Daily Life


1. Mobile phones (Keitai)

a. Companies

Mobile phones, called Keitai-denwa or just Keitai, have become ubiquitous in Japan. Smartphones are often called smaho.
There are currently three major mobile phone companies in Japan, au, NTT docomo, and Softbank. Each company offers a variety of mobile phone devices with different features and colors. You can pay for the devices either in full or in installments. Student discounts are also available for service plans. For details, visit the respective phone companies' websites.

au: http://www.au.kddi.com/english/
NTT docomo: http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/
Softbank: http://mb.softbank.jp/

b. Things you need when you purchase a mobile phone

When making a new contract, you will generally be asked to present several forms of identification:

- passport
- National Health Insurance holder’s card
- Resident Card or Juminhyoo
- credit card

Contact the company or check their website for details.

2. Fixed telephone lines

If you want to set up a fixed telephone line in your apartment, you have several options.

a. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT)

NTT was once a government-owned monopoly and is believed to have a relatively stable network system. However, you must first purchase a telephone subscription right (¥37,800, as of March 2011) to receive a fixed line. The right is NOT resalable.

b. Optical fiber and IP phone lines

The initial cost of these lines depends on the provider, but is much cheaper than that of NTT. However, some service restrictions apply with IP phones unlike for NTT's service, such as the inability to make toll-free calls.

3. Fax

You can send a fax from many of the convenience stores.

4. Postal services (Yubinkyoku)

Japan Post (JP) offers both domestic and international postal and package delivery services at any post office. Post offices are scattered throughout city areas and are generally open from 9 am to 5 pm (banking and insurance service hours are until 4 pm). You can purchase postage stamps at some supermarkets and convenience stores as well.
When you move, you can request your mail be forwarded to your new address by turning in a change-of-address notice to the post office.
For detailed service information, visit the following website:


5. Courier services

a. Domestic

Courier services (Takuhaibin) come in handy when you send big or heavy parcels within Japan. Generally, you can specify the date and time of the delivery. Most major convenience stores handle courier services. The two major courier companies in Japan are:

Yamato: http://www.kuronekoyamato.co.jp/english/
Sagawa: http://www.sagawa-exp.co.jp/english/

b. International

Mails and parcels can be sent from any post office. If you need express delivery, you may want to consider one of the following:

Express Mail Service (EMS) (offered by Japan Post at any post office):
DHL: http://www.dhl.com/en.html

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